I’ve just attended a great workshop with David Swenson in Easthampton organized by Hartsong Yoga. I’m publishing some pictures.
For 5 days, we lived together with homeless people on the streets of Washington DC. We slept 3 minutes from The White House in the area inhabited by the richest Americans. We had no wallets and no cell phones. We ate at soup kitchens, hung out in parks, begged and mainly talked to people we met.
- 5/28 – 6/17: Sanshin Bloomington, IN
- 6/17: Columbus, OH
- 6/17-18: Rochester, NY
- 6/18 – 7/1: Zen Mountain Monastery
- 7/1-4: New York, NY
- 7/5 – 8/4: Poznań (with some exceptions)
- ? 7/7-8: Warszawa/Kąciki ?
- 7/22-30: Sopatowiec
- 8/4: New York, NY
I’ve been reading Realizing Genjokoan by Shōhaku Okumura Roshi and I wanted to come and see how he practice for a long time. Everyone worn me: “they sit crazy amount of time and they do not do anything else”. “That’s perfect” – I thought. I came to attend 5-day sesshin on May 29 – June 3, 2019.
The Lotus Sutra is one of the most fundamental and influential teachings in Buddhism, dating back to 150 CE. In April 2019, I was fortunate to attend a month-long practice period at Upaya Zen Center themed around this seminal text. We each chose one parable from the text to explore as suggested by teachers Joshin and Genzan. The contemplation of such work was reminiscent of working with koans, which are essentially Zen paradoxes used for the purpose of awakening. After a month, it was surprising to observe how much inspiration came from this type of practice.
The retreat is free. However, I’m obliged to organize a group of supporters who can help me raise $500 which will go towards charity. Asking for alms is meant to help us witness and understand the lives of people living on the street. Traditionally, Buddhist monks used to support themselves in this way. In fact, it is a great practice of generosity and gratitude thanks to which we can observe what happens with our minds when we ask, give or receive.
My psychotherapist friend Wiola Rebe is going to Rwanda to research consequences of rape. Her studies are cross-cultured and focused on shame as the main inhibiting factor in recovery. I decided to donate something in order she could continue her research. Please, help her too.